The Great Steam Roundup – Episode 12

Ya, figured it was time for another one of these. I’ve gotten quite a few Steam titles since then (I’m up to 289 as of this writing). The main reason I was hesitant to push on with this, besides my motivation being sapped, was that the last one felt like I was…reaching. The good news is that isn’t really happening this time, so hopefully I’ll have quite a bit more to say.

10,000,000

Current Selling Price: $4.99

When I first saw this game, two thoughts entered my mind. One, what’s up with the name? And two, oh great, another slider puzzle game…FUN. The best way I can describe this game is imagine the first time you played Puzzle Quest and just how addictive it was. Now take out all the story, overworld, travelling, and various other unnecessary elements and boil it down to just the basics.

That, my friends, is 10,000,000…or as I’ve come to refer to it: TEN MEELLION. If you can score 10000000 points, you win. You won’t be, though. Not for a very long time. The game keeps track of your record, but even mine is currently only 2 mil. Throughout the game, you’ll be returning to your base a lot (because of all the game overs from time related deaths) where you can unlock various upgrade areas to improve all kinds of features on your character.

The game tests your reflexes, item management, and overall puzzle skills in this fun, highly addictive title that I seriously cannot recommend highly enough.

Crysis

Current Selling Price: $19.99

Yet another “ohhh, that’s purdy” game from the makers of Farcry…except it’s not as pretty as RAGE and it’s not as inspired as Farcry 2. It’s sad, really, because now we’re getting ready to have Crysis 3, but I just don’t see it. Maybe I haven’t played enough into the game…I don’t know. I’m lost on what the selling point of these actually are besides the graphics.

And I’m not saying good graphics = bad game, either. All I’m saying is I really don’t see anything in this game other than another boneheaded FPS that appeals to the lowest common denominator. I certainly won’t (and can’t) stop you if that’s your thing, but I feel very meh about this one.

Giana Sisters – Twisted Dreams

Current Selling Price: $14.99

Speaking of graphics…this shit is beautiful. Yeah, yeah…this seems a bit hypocritical, but let me explain. This is a competent platformer with interesting switch variables, multiple abilities, and all kinds of fun shit that ALSO manages to look and sound fucking brilliant at all possible angles. Crysis looks good…and that’s it. Since it doesn’t add much new or interesting to the table, it gets old quick…so quick, in fact, that I’ve barely played it OR this one, but I already know which I prefer more.

A game has to be able to win you over on more than just graphics and sound, but when it does, the graphics and sound are the icing on the cake (especially since this is an indie title). Giana Sisters provides a fun, interesting romp into a dream/nightmare land full of all kinds of great platforming elements. At times it can be a little hard, but with great checkpoints and lots of replayability, you’ll be playing this again and again and again.

Hard Reset

Current Selling Price: $14.99

After playing the initial demo, I knew I was destined for Hard Reset…but not its price (originally it was $30). HR is effectively an FPS robot shoot-em-up. With all the hate I give modern FPSs, it can be guessed that I just plain hate FPSs. This is wrong, but it’s still a good guess. No, what I hate is modern FPSs that just plain aren’t interesting and simply get it wrong because they don’t entice you with something more than graphics.

HR is moody and its atmosphere is dripping with a sort of cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic feel without drifting into the all too familiar territory of Fallout, Borderlands, and RAGE. Robots came at you in waves similar to that of Serious Sam, but in a way that can legitimately surprise and at times even scare you. It really gets the blood pumping and forces you into that panic mode where you have to keep focused and shoot straight…or you’re dead.

With an extensive upgrade system, all kinds of weapons and weapon types, several enemy types, wonderfully detailed levels (especially for an indie title), and lots of hard-hitting action, Hard Reset reminds us of FPSs from days long gone where it was about the action and not the story, about how the guns plowed through enemies, not about how tactical our shooters can be or how accurately we can replicate the same goddamn war over and over and over again.

So yeah…I’d recommend it.

Kaptain Brawe

Current Selling Price: $9.99

Kaptain Brawe is a reminder that not all adventure games are equal…in fact, some really suck. No, it’s no Jolly Rover, but it’s no Maniac Mansion, either. But dammit if it doesn’t try. You can switch between characters, it has a somewhat similar look and feel to Curse of Monkey Island if it was fused with the later Space Quests…but it doesn’t entirely work.

The puzzles often don’t make much sense and as a result, you have a lot of obscure puzzles mixed with a bit of ho-hum dialogue. You could certainly do a lot worse (Jolly Rover), but it’s not entirely terrible. Honestly, for the price, I’d still recommend it…but only if you really, really like point and click adventure gaming.

Conclusion

Again, I’m terribly sorry for not updating more often. Seriously, with as many Steam games as I have, I would be able to pull out at least 10 more of these roundups. I’d really like to get back to standard reviews, but as time consuming as it is, I don’t know if that will be happening anytime soon. All the same, thanks for the read!

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